SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament

Farmers urge the government to assure the legalisation of MSP as well

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) postponed the tractor-trolley march to the Parliament and gave the Centre until December 4, 2021 to address the rest of the farmers’ struggle demands.

Earlier, the umbrella body of farmer unions announced plans to march towards the Parliament for the entirety of the Winter Session to voice their demands before MPs. However, after November 19’s announcement of the repeal of the three contentious laws, the SKM decided to reciprocate with the move to encourage talks.

SKM leader Darshan Pal said on November 27, “When the rally towards the Parliament was announced, the government had not repealed the laws. Now, the government has assured us that these laws will be repealed. So we are suspending the programme until Saturday.”

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

He reiterated the rest of the farmers’ demands such as:

– legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP)

– compensation and rehabilitation of martyred farmer families

– dismissal of penal provisions in other laws and Bills like the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Delhi’s Air Quality Management (AQM) legislation and

– quashing of FIRs against farmers. (Some of these FIRs were lodged by the Railways department. Similarly, farmer leader Joginder Singh stated that over 40,000 FIRs were lodged against farmers in Haryana alone.)

Acknowledging Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar’s statement that FIRs are a “state issue” the SKM leaders alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah could resolve all such FIRs, since they lead the ruling parties of central as well as the UP government.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in another press conference said the government seems to be willing to have talks with farmers. “We hope the laws will be repealed by Saturday. But the government has not responded to the over-700 martyrs, the Lakhimpur kheri violence, FIRs and MSP – a demand that is just as important as the repeal of three laws,” he said.

Tikait said that the government should also make a separate committee with farmers to talk about legislations regarding seeds, fertilisers, dairy plans and the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme. This should be distinct from the committee that addresses MSP and other demands.

While answering media questions, he alleged that those officials who opposed the legal guarantee for MSP are part of a “gang” or a larger conspiracy to hand over farmland to corporate entities. The next SKM meeting will take place on Saturday.


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